Simmon Lauded for Work as Foundation Board Chair

“Jaymie’s giving spirit has always been driven by the needs of the community and that has reflected upon her success as board chair,” said Phillip Kambic, president and CEO of Riverside Healthcare. “The community Riverside proudly serves is a better place because of her dedication, and we thank Jaymie for her commitment.”
Writer Jaymie Simmon and Broadcaster Tim Milner announced this week that he will succeed her as Chair of the Riverside Healthcare Foundation Board, a role Jaymie has served since 2008.
Simmon helped develop the vision along with the motto for the Foundation, Generosity Heals, a sentiment exemplified by her own involvement and many accomplishments over the years. Throughout her time on the board, Simmon helped to inspire the Foundation’s efforts and raise millions through key events and campaigns, including five Riverside Heart Balls, nine Riverside Pro-Am golf tournaments, Riverside’s Nursing Excellence scholarships campaign and cancer treatment technology campaign: Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy.

The Foundation has been able to direct nearly $10.5 million of philanthropic support in her eight and half years toward important programs, facilities and advanced treatment technologies at Riverside Healthcare.

The God Gene Featured at Printer’s Row Lit Fest

Jaymie Simmon’s Chicago-based debut novel, THE GOD GENE, is the winner of the 2013 National Indie Excellence Award for Literary Fiction. It was also a finalist in the 2013 Midwest Book Awards. Simmon will be at the Printers Row Lit Fest today and June 9 from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. in the Illinois Woman’s Press Association tent, where the author will be selling and signing copies of her book.

THE GOD GENE centers on Rosalind Evans, a beautiful, determined, 36-year-old cancer researcher at a prestigious Chicago university. She is completing work on a highly confidential pharma project when she discovers that the genetic code at the center of the second chromosome spells out The Ten Commandments.

“The God Gene” is as much social satire as it is thriller.”

Simmon donates a portion of the proceeds from every book to charity. This year’s recipient is BallouSkies, a charity that supports research for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

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THE GOD GENE Wins 2013 National Indie Excellence Award for Literary Fiction

THE GOD GENE reads at thriller pace, but takes a deep, darkly humorous dive into the American psyche at a point where information overload and political ambition collide. THE GOD GENE won the 2013 National Indie Excellence Award for Literary Fiction. It was also a finalist in the 2013 Midwest Book Awards for Literary and Contemporary Fiction, and a finalist in the National Indie Excellence Award for Fiction. Simmon studied at theUniversity of Chicago’s Writer’s Studio.

The story
The story centers on Rosalind Evans, a beautiful, determined, 36-year-old cancer researcher at a Chicago university. She is completing work on a confidential pharma project when she discovers that the genetic code at the center of the second chromosome spells out The Ten Commandments. She fears her project has been hacked, but before she can investigate, a co-worker leaks the bizarre discovery to a popular blog. The story goes viral and the next morning the world wakes up to the news that there is a message from God in their DNA.

With the media fanning the flames, debate rages over the authenticity and meaning of the so-called God gene. Is it a hoax? A miracle? The end of times? Evans is the scapegoat for society’s fear and uncertainty and becomes the victim of a conspiracy that reaches from the White House to the Vatican and from the ivory towers of academe to the boardrooms of big pharma. She must battle them all in order to regain her scientific integrity, her freedom, and ultimately, her life.

Author Jaymie Simmon says the idea for the book came from her insatiable appetite for political news. “I admit it: I’m a news junkie,” Simmon says. “I’ve tried to quit, but American politics is like a Fellini movie; it’s absurd, yet you can’t take your eyes off it.”

Praise for The God Gene
Jack Hatfield, Chairman of the Chicago Area Great Books Council, says, “I highly recommend The God Gene… Fully developed characters. Interesting plot line. Very relevant to our times and its spiritual and moral ambiguity.”

Phil Angelo of The Daily Journal says, “The humor here runs the gamut from laugh-out-loud to dark.”


Surviving Cancer: Writer Jaymie Simmon talks to The Daily Journal about why she stopped trying to control her life and let the blessings flow.

“Gratitude is not an occasional thing. It’s an unending condition of the heart.”

— Jaymie Simmon


Every Day is Thanksgiving for the Grateful

Everyday should be Thanksgiving Day. We should be thankful even in the midst of problems. The Apostle Paul said, “I am exceedingly joyful in our tribulation,” (2 Cor. 7:4). He knew that God was working all things together for his good, even though he was going through trials.

Problems will come your way, and through them God will grant you to grow in faith. He will allow storms to send roots deep into the soil of His Word. We pray in the midst of problems, but it’s been well said that we can see more from our knees, than on our tip toes.

Trials have their purposes. They make us struggle — they bring us to our knees.

Trials and struggles are anything but new to Jaymie Simmon of Bourbonnais. The day her mother passed away from breast cancer was the same day she received chilling news of her own diagnosis with the same cancer.

Jaymie says, “Since my battle with cancer, I have a lot for which to be thankful. Gratitude is not an occasional thing. It’s an unending condition of the heart.

“When God allowed me to survive, with the understanding that I stop taking things for granted, and walk with gladness in my heart. For me, everyday is Thanksgiving. The illness rearranged priorities in my life. I now look at things much differently. The blessings began to flow when I stopped trying to control my life.trailer movie Beauty and the Beast 2017

“The love and help of others gave me strength to endure the challenges I was facing. Power of prayer is amazing — through all my vicissitude, I still have life.”

Jaymie is a member of the College Church of the Nazarene, in Bourbonnais, where Dan Boone is pastor.

Equivalent to the same, Yvonne Timms of Kankakee also is thankful for everyday, and each moment that God has allowed her to be among the land of the living. Yvonne says God is in total control.

 “When I first learned of my illness, I was devastated.

“Through my spiritual growth and personal relationship with God, I can make it. Until one gets a connection with God, he or she is incapable. Even though I’m physically unable to touch and feel God, His presence surrounds me.

“We were put here on Earth as a vessel to help the fellow man. Oftentimes, we take living for granted. My Thanksgiving is everyday.”

Yvonne is a member of Zion Gate Baptist Church, where Ronald L. Barlett is pastor.

Thank-you Jaymie and Yvonne for reminding us that everyday is Thanksgiving. It’s easy to be thankful for the good things. A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who also are thankful for their setbacks. Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive. We all must be thankful for our trials and our struggles.

They may become our blessings.Thanksgiving and gratitude have marked important milestones in American life for generations, but Thanksgiving isn’t only an American tradition. The roots of Thanksgiving and gratitude stem from the human universal need to express gratitude through prayer, gift giving, and celebrations throughout the world.


Positive Connections By Shalone Graves

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